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 Joyce Lee  (1950 - 2011)

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Lived/Active: Montana      Known for: contemporary ranch life

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Joyce Lee
An example of work by Joyce Lee
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Raised on ranches in Wyoming and Montana, Joyce Lee became a landscape painter focused on the kind of natural beauty she encountered during her childhood and later as an adult on a ranch in Montana.

She went to college in Billings, Montana, married Charles Lee, and worked as a rancher, training horses and doing field work. She is basically a self-taught artist, although she credits Clyde Aspevig as a big influence on her work. In 1990 moved into a studio she and her husband built on the ranch.

She also took art training at Eastern Montana College, Zemsky-Hines Pro Art Workshops, and the Scottsdale Artists School.

Biography from Betsy Swartz Fine Art Consulting, Inc.:
Artist Statement:
“I can remember riding on horseback as a small child and marveling at the green of the spring grass and the smell of wet sage as my horse trotted along, making me think this must be as close to heaven as a person would want to get. A very memorable summer for me was when I worked with my Dad on a ranch that was breeding 1400 head of cows. We were required to be riding by daylight, gathering and sorting cattle. We had a small break in the middle of the day followed by more gathering and sorting until dark. It was a pretty saturating experience, both in terms of being on the land and being surrounded with horses, cows and cowhands. I feel very fortunate that I’m a western artist who has done more than just visit a ranch to take some photos of cowboys.”  

Showing an early interest in drawing and painting,  Joyce spent many of her younger years dabbling in the arts. She was influenced by Orren Mixer and CW Anderson, who wrote and illustrated the "Billy and Blaze" series. With encouragement and support from her family, she continued to develop her talent by attending workshops with well-known painters Matt Smith and Ned Jacob.

 In 1981, she attended Eastern Montana College and studied under Ben Steele, which served to further polish her talents and launch her career in the arts. Joyce's work has been featured in several solo shows in western art galleries and has exhibited in the CM Russell Auction in Great Falls, MT; the Buffalo Bill Art Show and Sale in Cody, WY; the Cowgirl Up Annual Show and Sale in Wickenburg, AZ; and the Coors National Western Show in Denver, Co. Joyce's paintings of ranch scenes, horses, and landscapes can be found in art collections across the United States.

The shining spirit of our friend and fellow artist, Joyce Lee, departed from this world on March 25, 2011, but memories of her will live forever in our hearts and in the legacy of her paintings.    

Biography from Claggett/Rey Gallery:
Joyce Lee born 1950, currently lived on a ranch with her husband Charlie south of Billings, Montana. Her quiet log studio became her refuge for creating genre paintings and western subjects.

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